Friday Prayers for Egypt: Terrorist Cell?

God,

It is first useful to recall what are understood to be facts. On January 28, the decisive day of the revolution, the prisons were opened. Though many were later apprehended, others are still at large.

During the volatile transition to democracy security was lax and policemen absent. It is understood many weapons entered Egypt through Libya.

Amid the controversial decisions of leadership, both the military council and President Morsy freed many convicted Islamists. Some were released long after their terms expired, others were given outright pardons.

Throughout the post-revolution months the Sinai Peninsula witnessed repeated attacks on the Israeli gas pipeline and police and military checkpoints. The president launched a high profile army crackdown on its criminals and jihadists.

So God, it is fully believable there may be terrorist cells in Egypt. If so, thank you for the discovery and apprehension of the group in Nasr City.

But some allege it is all a sham. Mostly the formerly jailed Islamists, they assert it is an attempt by security to reassert not only its authority, but also its relevance and possibly its need for emergency powers.

God, what can the average Egyptian know of these things? Should any manipulation exist, silence and thwart it. For all of Egypt’s difficulties, such has been the state of terrorism – quiet.

Keep it so, God. Keep Egypt’s political powers engaged in the peaceful transition process. Cantankerous as it is, threats and frustrations are expressed in the media or on the street. Find some way to unify all, God. May none be forced into the corner of violence, and may those who wind up on the edges of consensus recommit to a social and political struggle, neither armed nor intimidating.

Help the state to both empower and regulate the police. May they perform their duty unencumbered, serving both law and society. May the people partner, hostage to neither fear nor spite.

And of those whose consciences are seared and contemplate violence for political ends, protect the people from them. Speak to them, God, and convict them of their evil schemes. Redeem them, that they may serve not only you but others as well. Widen their vision and enlarge their hearts.

God, so much is uncertain in Egypt, but you have kept her safe. Thank you, and please continue.

Amen.

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